This is the story of the mysterious death of Michael Hastings, an American journalist, who rose to prominence with his coverage of the Iraq War for Newsweek in the 2000s.
But to better understand the figure, let’s remind that Hastings was one of the most critic people of the Obama administration and its interference on the US journalism. He was referring to the restrictions on the freedom of the press by the Obama administration as a “war” on journalism.
His last work, “Why Democrats Love to Spy On Americans“, was published by BuzzFeed on June 7. Hastings died in a fiery high-speed automobile crash on June 18, 2013, in Los Angeles, California.
When the popular hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek demonstrated that is possible to hack a connected car remotely, many experts and journalist started speculating that Hastings incident was caused by the US intelligence that had used some special tool to remotely control a vehicle. Sci-fi? Yet another conspiracy theory?
Last week Wikileaks released the “Vault 7,” a huge trove of CIA files that provided detailed information on the hacking capabilities of the US Central Intelligence Agency, including the ability to remotely hijack vehicles in order to conduct “undetectable assassinations.”
Curiously, according to the San Diego 6 News. Hastings had been investigating CIA Director John Brennan prior to the incident he had also contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, confirming that feds investigating his work.
Just coincidences, but some details on the incidents rose the suspicion among the journalists.
“Several details regarding the crash itself also suggested the possibility that Hastings’ death was the result of foul play, despite official statements to the contrary. For instance, the car caused no damage to the median curb dividing the four-lane road where the crash occurred, nor were there any skid marks present – despite the fact that the car made a sudden 60-degree turn into a palm tree.” reported Mintpressnews.com.
There is another strange particular about the incident, a worker at a business located near the site of the crash that assisted the incident told San Diego News 6 that the car was traveling too fast and that he heard explosions from within the vehicle shortly before the deadly impact.
The police confirmed that the fire inside the car was too intense for such kind of incident, the coroner had serious difficulties in analyzing the Hastings’ body.
The car was never analyzed by independent experts, despite public rumors of foul play.
The former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counterterrorism Richard A. Clarke, told the Huffington Post that the crash that killed Hastings was “consistent with a car cyber attack.”
“What has been revealed as a result of some research at universities is that it’s relatively easy to hack your way into the control system of a car, and to do such things as cause acceleration when the driver doesn’t want acceleration, to throw on the brakes when the driver doesn’t want the brakes on, to launch an air bag,” Clarke told The Huffington Post. “You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it’s not that hard.”
“So if there were a cyber attack on the car — and I’m not saying there was,” Clarke added, “I think whoever did it would probably get away with it.”
“I’m not a conspiracy guy. In fact, I’ve spent most of my life knocking down conspiracy theories,” said Clarke, who ran afoul of the second Bush administration when he criticized the decision to invade Iraq after 9/11. “But my rule has always been you don’t knock down a conspiracy theory until you can prove it [wrong]. And in the case of Michael Hastings, what evidence is available publicly is consistent with a car cyber attack. And the problem with that is you can’t prove it.”
Back to the present, documents shared by Wikileaks contain details about the study of the CIA on the possibility to infect the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The malicious code would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.
“While the Wikileaks documents confirm that this technology existed in 2014, there is reason to believe that the CIA was capable of hacking vehicles as far back as the late 1990s. Gordon Duff, senior editor of Veterans Today, wrote in 2010 about what he termed the CIA’s “Boston Brakes” assassination technique.” continues the Mintpressnews.
“In the article, Duff noted that the deaths of Chilcot Inquiry witness Richard Waddington, anti-Zionist Austrian politicians Jorg Haider and even Princess Diana all involved car crashes where the vehicle crashed into objects like concrete abutments but left no skid marks – not unlike the Hastings crash.”
According to a story published by WhoWhatWhy in 2013, Michael Hastings was investigating the use of the CIA of weaponized malware and surveillance tools.
(Security Affairs – Michael Hastings, hacking)